Dozens Of Donkeys Killed At Texas State Park For Being Threat To Ecosystem

AUSTIN (CBS Houston) — With 75 of the expected 300 wild donkeys roaming Big Bend State Park already having been terminated for being declared threats to the park’s ecosystem, donkey advocates have urged the state to halt the killings.

More than 100,000 signatures have been collected in an effort on the part of donkey enthusiasts to cease any more indiscriminate killings of wild donkeys at Big Bend State Park, originally based on what Texas Parks and Wildlife officials labeled as a significant threat to the park’s ecosystem as they try to introduce new animals to the environment. They were presented to Capitol officials Wednesday, hoping to find an alternative to avoid the fate of the 75 donkeys that have been killed to this point.

“It really hurts me to know the money I’m paying for my camp sites and entry fees are going to fund to kill an animal I hold dear to my heart,” Waco-based veterinarian and donkey owner Jennifer Garretson told CBS Houston. “These same parks are brutally killing these donkeys.”

The two-year issue surrounding the wild donkeys has reached a tipping point as proponents of an alternative, such as the Wild Burro Protection League, have been forceful in saying that no study has been performed on the ecological effect that the wild donkeys have on Big Bend’s ecosystem. Another matter concerns the matter in which the donkeys are terminated, preferring to indiscriminately shoot the donkeys in the body on site, and letting them die in pain instead of shooting them in the head, Garretson said.

“I think it’s inhumane and intolerable.”

Park and Wildlife officials contend that the estimated 300 wild donkeys across the 315,000-acre West Texas state park are not native to the area, thus making them a threat to the environment.

“We try to keep nature natural. Because the feral burros are not native, we do not feel that they have a place in our state parks,” Parks and Wildlife Spokesman Kevin Good told the Houston Chronicle. “I don’t see our agency changing its policy regarding non-native and exotic and invasive species.”

Still, the matter remains frustrating for pro-donkey supporters, Garretson telling CBS Houston that Park and Wildlife officials have “closed their ears and eyes to other alternatives.” Even with Texas Gov. Rick Perry saying that he believed the Parks and Wildlife people would make the right decision, Garretson doesn’t believe that to be the case, adding that the initiative would also include the termination of sheep, elk, cougars, and bobcats.

“They, as humans, are doing more damage to the ecosystem by destroying both predator and prey,” said Garretson.

Messages left by CBS Houston for Good were not immediately returned.

  • Tim

    Is there a Burro Rescue that can get involved? Where can one go to help stop this and support the care of these animals.

  • Snake

    I though Texans has weapons and balls. Simply come out in force and tell them if they shoot one more animal, the gun fire will began. They will back down. 100,000 weapons against what they have is no match for them.

    • Mikey

      I’m one of those gun toting Texans and I couldn’t care less about this.

      • greenkey75

        Gee, you do not care about this subject, but you took the time to add a reply. You know, a lot of Germans did not care about what Hitler was doing. So you see, not caring about something can come back and bite you.

      • Zexufang Fang

        Since Texas did re-districting – I thought donkeys were scarce in Texas.

    • greenkey75

      Sometimes, only the barrel of a gun will get someone who is in power to listen. What most people do not realize is that a lot of people who get into power get swollen heads. And this power level does not need to be very high up. They do not care what anyone else has to say because they are in power, and they are always right. Just remember absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      • RHO

        You are equating culling the donkey herd with the Holocaust? Are you insane? There is no comparison. You need a lesson on perspective. You should be worrying about Obama taking your liberties and freedoms, not a few donkeys.

    • rufus levin

      cheaper to shoot a treehugger and then drill for oil everywhere.

      • MissMe

        wonder if you have to get a license to hunt them

      • Charlie Adams In Kentucky

        Stupid inbred a$$hole. Some of us treehuggers shoot back.

    • Cranky ole yankee

      Wow. That wasn’t a very bright comment…. That’s what happens when you give a donkey a keyboard.

      • Sadie

        It’s even worse when you give donkeys the White House.

      • Jimbo

        It was bright enough, YANKEE. The poster posted drivel, bad grammar, and poor syntax.

        Now, head back up north to one of your socialist utopia’s.

    • Jimbo

      That’s what you get for thinking.

  • Dan

    Maybe it should be those ecoterrorist that need a little thinning of the heard instead of the donkeys.

  • thisagain

    This “native species” argument is such BS. Do you know that the vast majority of so-called “native” species in this country were imported from Europe? They just consider them to have been here long enough to be called “native”. It is so stupid. I really wish these arrogant people would realize that nature is not in desperate need of their supervisory skills.

    • John

      Exactly, the Native Americans are not Native (i.e the original inhabitants). They say so themselves in their histories.

    • More of the Same'ol

      They are as native as the Native Americans/Mexicans. They migrated here from somewhere else but have been here long enough to be called natives.

      • thisagain

        I guess the donkeys arrived on an unacceptable date? What date is the cut off to be declared a native? Is it based solely on what they like? What exactly is their criteria? The Park service certainly isn’t native, so why are they in charge of all the other species?

      • rufus levin

        ….feral democrats……

  • sandy healey

    It would seem that 300 donkeys would make much of an impact on 315,000 acres. Makes you wonder how long they have been there destroying the ecosystem. What we don’t like we attempt to destroy.

    • sagebrush

      the great majority of that 315,000 acres will not support a jackrabbit. Reality is closer to 30-50,000 acres of habitat. Never let reality get in the way of a good cause though. Does this mean that wild horses are non-native, invasive creatures as well? uh oh

  • LaVonte d'Ashawn Jackson IV

    Thin the liberals. Leave the Donkeys.

    • Jerry

      thin the liberals and the donkeys…

  • deRuiter

    Why can’t they do this with the illegal aliens and ecoterrorists? Surely the illegals sneaking over the border and polluting our culture, bankrupting our hospitals, schools and welfare programs, are not a native species! The donkeys are doing less damage, there are only 300 of them, the illegals are in the millions.

    • rufus levin

      the donkeys that don’t get killed all get elected to Government by the democrats

    • LaVonte d'Ashawn Jackson IV

      Illegal aliens vote for Democrats, therefore are no threat to the government.

  • Ian

    The Park and Wildlife officials aren’t native either. Maybe they should kill themselves.

    • rufus levin

      only if they vote Democrat….then Fast and Furious will provide weapons maybe…

  • Fritz Head

    So, here we go again. TPWD raises it’s minuscule head and declares another “problem” which they need to address, which of course will require funding and a new bureaucratic entity to administer. It reminds me of the double speak and flip-flopping over the hydrilla issue at Aquarena Springs, or the claim that small boats were negatively affecting “their” precious water, and needed to be taxed, licensed, and registered.

    TPWD needs it head lopped off and it’s budget seriously cut. It has become a detriment to Texas sportsmen and outdoors.

    • Jimbo

      TPWD is simply out of control. It has become another of Rick Perry’s revenue generating bureaucracies, and nothing more.

      • Robb

        Jacka$$e$ killing Jacka$$e$.

  • Sue

    The most damaging animal to the environment is the human.

    • rufus levin

      the Democrat version

    • 51 Phantom

      The most damaging animal to the environment is …..YOU!

  • Casper

    I promise you, the idiots who are making these life and death (for the donkeys) decisions will turn out to be (with some basic investigating) godless morons. Who else but an arrogant atheist can feel comfortable deciding the fate of one of God’s creatures?

    • rufus levin

      I am all for Planned Parenthood to start performing Donkey Abortions to solve this terrible social problem….A female donkey’s body is her own and only she should decide to give birth to a baby donkey that she got pregnant by some big old incestuous buck donkey that might have been a family member or a boyfriend of her sister or granny.

      • Ben Abler

        Might the donkeys seek employment in Tijuana Mexico, I hear they utilize donkeys in their entertainment…..or on a serious note, round them up and let people come get them.

    • rufus levin

      obama for one.

      • DaveIn84

        hey Rufus – the commercial is over and Jerry Springer is back on.
        300 donkeys on 315,000 acres is a problem? Like others have said – the illegals are a much (much) bigger problem.

  • No More Enviroweenies

    Spokesman Kevin Good is not native to Big Bend either. So by his logic he does not have a place and would support having someone else shoot him in the gut and leave him to die.

  • rufus levin

    kill the donkeys and drill for oil…build the pipeline…..get serious ADULTS.

  • Tex Geoas

    People are not “native” to the Big Bend area, either. Is Texas going to shoot us, too? Stop killing the donkeys.

    • John

      Actually, the plan is to reduce earth’s human population by 95%.

  • James Goodnight

    The Texas Parks@Wildlife Department are the ones who should be eliminated instead of the donkeys.And then they go on to say they are going to eliminate other species of wildlife in Big Bend. Who do they think they are.Does the governmental departments think they can just do as they please,without any input,or oversight?I thought they worked for the people of Texas.Some people when given a little authority,think they are given dictatorial powers.Power corrupts.Enough already.Governor Perry,Texas Congress,Representatives,where are you?


      did the governor stop this OR WAS HIS CAMPAINING KEEPING HIM FROM DOING A HUMANE ACT? this has got to be stopped.TODAY!!!!

  • FN Cee

    If this is true, hope the meat was used to feed hungry people … not just left to the coyotes and buzzards …

    • rufus levin

      who would eat the meat….anyone needing food has food stamps for the grocery store…only Asians and French and 3rd World poor folks eat “non-acceptable” horse, donkey, or mule meat….fido and kiddy are good too….

  • aubreyfarmer

    Give the guys with the National Park Service a little credit. Surely they see the damage done by roving herds of wild donkeys. Big Bend has Big Horn Sheep that depend on what little vegetation there is in the Sierra Madres and Chihuahan Desert. So if the park rangers are correct and public pressure prevents them from doing their job and all of the Big Horn die as a result of starvation who will get the blame. The park service of course and all of those that second guessed their decision to reduce the wild burro population will be at home congratulating themselves for being protectors of the wild burros.

    • rufus levin

      same fools don’t see why the Alaskans have to thin out caraboo and wolves by killing them so the others won’t start to death… far, no one has come up all fuzzy and warm about wild feral hogs that destroy everything….but they are not cuddly and have no stuffed animals for the kids to grow up chewing on.

  • RT

    So less than 1 donkey per 1000 acres is a threat to the ecosystem? What nonsense. We have wild donkeys in the San Bernardino Mountains in So. Ca. and I’ve never heard of them being declared a threat to a much smaller area. In fact, it’s a kick to see them in the wild. I bet Texas’ beloved cattle have done far worse damage to the ecosystem than any donkey.

    • rufus levin

      hell, the most destructive living things in CALIFORNIA is Californians…..most of the rest of us keep hoping for a huge earthquake along the St Andreas that lets the state sink into the Pacific and make Nevada into ocean front residential property to solve their economy….California is not solveable….we could not even give it to Mexico.

    • pfflt

      The cattle are on ranches. But ok. They do the same amount of damage to the ecosystem as a winery, farm or wind power facility

      • rufus levin

        actually, the cattle are in feed lots and much closer confined…there is nothing for them to tear up….

      • comeon

        Rufus? I live in Texas. Don’t assume.

        Do I need to post pics of the cattle grazing? Don’t believe everything Oprah tells you, ok?

    • JDS

      Since you don’t seem to know anything about the current situation in West Texas I will explain. The ecosystem in question is suffering through one of the worst droughts in recorded history if not the worst. The earth from the Permian Basin to Big Bend is the consitency of powdered sugar and much of the native vegetation has died. Also, many of the ranchers you are bad mouthing have either sold their cattle or are going broke feeding them. Shoot the donkeys or let them die a miserable death of starvation. It matters not to me.

  • rufus levin

    If Obama and the EPA and the Commerce Dept and HHS all have their way….we are going to need all the donkeys to ride around on since there will be no gasoline in America.

  • Gary Johnson

    Were any of them named Pelosi, Reed or Obama……?

  • JB

    How long has TPWD been run by Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group?

  • Liz

    Texas Governor Perry drops out of the presidential running, then this comes out in the news the next day. Wonderful job, Gov., you are killing your own state.. I am sure there are many people who would adopt one, two, or dozens. I would, if I were allowed to where I live.

  • hahaha

    I truly despise that gigantic line of fans on top of erector sets on top of mountains as far as the eye can see when you drive in to California on Hwy 10. That is so ugly, particularly when it’s framed by that green and brown smog drifting up out of LA’s bowl. But it is ever so tres enviro-chic, isn’t it? Nevermind the reality of the situation. Pound sand, condors! You ugly and we can feel smug about this, so no one cares. Of course we’ll say it’s a shame, though. For awareness!

  • Mikey

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the headline was, “You could choke a dozen donkeys with that and you’re arguing over a hundred quid?!?!

  • Eff

    Somehow this will turn out to be George W Bush’s fault like everything else.

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